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Cardinals may “already have understanding” with Bulger

NFC Divisional Playoff: Carolina Panthers v St. Louis Rams

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 10: Marc Bulger #10 of the St. Louis Rams drops back to pass during a NFC Divisional Playoff against the Carolina Panthers on January 10, 2004 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Carolina won 29 to 23 in double overtime. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

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The Cardinals’ apparent intent to pass on Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert at No. 5 in the draft has fueled the belief that Arizona plans to sign a stopgap, free agent quarterback to be its starter in 2011.

While some have speculated about the Cardinals potentially pursuing Donovan McNabb, clued-in Arizona writers believe Marc Bulger is a far more likely option. And according to Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange, a Bulger-Cardinals union may already be in the works.

“A lot of people in the league feel the Cardinals already have an understanding with pending free agent Marc Bulger,” writes Pasquarelli. “The Cardinals would have liked to sign Bulger last year, and coach Ken Whisenhunt lobbied for a deal, but Arizona had already agreed with Derek Anderson and management didn’t see a way to bring in two veterans.”

Having “an understanding” with a player is different than speaking to that player, who in this case is technically still a member of the Baltimore Ravens. So this presumably wouldn’t be tampering.

But it does sound like it could come awfully close.

Regardless, the Cardinals’ 2011 quarterback plan seems to be laid out. They’ll bring back 2010 fifth-round pick John Skelton, and attempt to develop him behind the 34-year-old Bulger.

It wouldn’t seem like a recipe for success in most NFL divisions, but the Cardinals could probably be plenty competitive with Bulger at quarterback in the NFC West.